Your Pet’s First Veterinary Exam

Your pet’s first veterinary exam is important to their well-being. As a responsible pet owner, it is critical that you provide your pet with superior care; taking your new pet to the veterinarian is the first step. The veterinarian will want to get acquainted with your new family addition as well as offer advice on nutrition and general health.

Pets purchased from breeders are often given a particular window to get the animal examined. Typically, an exam within the first week of ownership is recommended to ensure the animal is in good health. During your first visit, you will be required to fill out forms for your pet’s medical record, so be sure to have important personal information with you in order to complete the paperwork.

Physical exam

During your visit, the veterinarian will perform a new pet physical, and the following will be thoroughly examined:

  • Abdominal area for bloat or abnormality. 
  • Bellybutton (in puppies and kittens) for possible hernia.
  • Condition of the skin and coat. 
  • Genitals for malformation. 
  • Heart and lungs to check for irregularity. 
  • Joint movement. 
  • Teeth, ears, and eyes.

Getting to know your pet

When first visiting the veterinarian, it is important for the physician to get to know your pet’s personality and disposition. The vet may also ask questions about your pet’s behavior, diet, and daily activities. In getting to know your new pet, the veterinarian will establish the pet’s medical record, taking note of specific habits. This provides a record of normalcy to which the veterinarian can compare your pet should they ever be brought in when you report odd behaviors. Getting better acquainted with your new pet will also enable the vet to recommend suitable vaccinations for their lifestyle.